My employer frequently encourages employees to donate sick leave to coworkers in need. While it’s noble to donate benefits, it raises the question of why our employer does not relax leave policies or donate it themselves. Instead, the burden of responsibility shifts to those at the bottom. If nobody volunteers their leave, the sick person is out of luck. The implication from the top is clear: Don’t look to us, look to your coworkers. If they don’t rise to the occasion, it’s their fault.

The Biden administration’s new Welcome Corps (and similar initiatives) follows a similar tack with the ethically fraught territory of immigration policy. Individuals (or groups) are expected to sponsor refugees and help them find their feet. For what, then, do we taxpayers fund the operation of multiple federal departments and agencies tasked with immigration policy?

The kindheartedness of individuals who sponsor refugees cannot be questioned, but ensuring a safe haven should not be the responsibility of an admirable few, especially given the unimaginable challenges faced by refugee families. Immigration policy requires institutions with trained professionals, not charity and well-wishes. The maze of nonprofits responsible for training and monitoring obscures responsibility still further, outsourcing jobs that should be under federal auspices, and outsourcing the obligation to follow ethical, actionable policy.

Outsourcing immigration policy to barely accountable nonprofits and well-meaning but ill-prepared citizens means rejecting the very premise of responsibility. Masked in liberal rhetoric, Biden thus continues the Trump-era immigration policy that liberals claimed to despise.

Michael Burrows

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